7/18/12 O’Neill to Osmond, NE – 56 miles
Once again we left by 7:00 am to try and beat the heat. The first 8 miles to Inman were a breeze. Overcast skies, which kept it pleasantly cool, and that beautiful, smooth asphalt with the wide shoulders. The road was absolutely flat. I was barely pedaling and still making 13-15 mph. Sort of gliding. More of the same in terms of scenery, although it seems like there were more and more trees.
Approximately 13 miles into the ride, the road veered due east and we came upon a series of rolling hills with moderate inclines followed by downhill glides. The wind also picked up a little and presented enough of a headwind that I was having to work to get up the hills. I had gotten a little spoiled by the flat road and found myself whining inwardly. With regard to the scenery, field after field after field of corn and soybeans. Extensive irrigation throughout.
We started scanning the horizon for the water towers that indicate a town is coming.
We stopped briefly in Orchard to refill water bottles and discovered an old time movie theatre named “Rex” that captivated us. There were also some well maintained homes with beautifully kept lawns and gardens. One yard in particular caught my eye because there was a hibiscus bush with the largest hibiscus flowers I think I have ever seen. I am particularly partial to hibiscus because of the Bermuda connection.
As we continued riding, all of a sudden I noticed a topless buggy pulled by a trotting horse and full of people that looked Amish, complete with that orange “Yield” decal attached to the back that you see on television. They were going so fast that I had no opportunity to take a picture. I waited for Randy to catch up and asked if there were Amish in Nebraska – I didn’t recall ever hearing of anything like that. He said more likely they might be Mennonite. It was very interesting. Also, I found it interesting that this is the one and only group of these folks I have seen.
We arrived in Osmond before 1:00 pm and checked into the Hill Street Inn. By then, the clouds had burned off, the sun was out in full force and it was quite hot. I walked down to the local pub and had a light lunch before soaking in the tub and getting cleaned up.
I received a call from my friend, Diane Henson, who is taking a break from campaigning to drive up from Austin and ride a portion of RAGBRAI with her friend John from Des Moines. We are going to try and hook up and ride some of RAGBRAI together. It feels a little strange to think about seeing someone I know from home after these 8 weeks on the road. Also received a call from my friend, Glada, who has a friend driving up to ride RAGBRAI. Glada graciously offered to send some clothes for me to switch out with some of those I have been wearing for weeks – YIPPEE! It will be nice to have some different clothes for the remainder of the ride. Glada says it will give her a “warm fuzzy” if she sees me wearing some of the clothes she is sending in a journal picture.
Another surprise when I got back to the room after dinner. There was an e-mail from McKinley and Patrice! It was so good to hear from them. They are still on the TRANSAMERICA route and just entered Kansas. Also, they finally got to meet Andrew and camped with him a couple of nights. McKinley said they missed riding with me and had been reading my blog. I wish I could somehow re-connect with them on the road, but probably not likely.
All in all a very good day!